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Coined by Dorothy Tennov, Professor of Psychology (Emeritus), University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Circa 1977. The coinages are arbitrary; there is no specific etymology.


limerence (plural limerences)

  1. (psychology) An involuntary state of mind caused by a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Conventional love, by contrast, requires no reciprocity. Limerence is not infatuation, which includes aspects of immaturity and extrapolation from insufficient information. Limerence is an automatic reaction, not the product of an individual's decision. It is something that "just happens" to people that seem predisposed to this condition. It is sometimes referred to as "being in love" with someone, as opposed to "loving" someone (e.g. romantic love, passionate love or lust). Since nonlimerents also use these terms to describe their feelings, these terms do not provide an adequate definition.



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